Sunroof vs sunroof: the main differences
(iSeeCars) – A glass roof in a vehicle can brighten up an otherwise dark interior. It’s a welcome addition at a time when tall beltlines and thick pillars made large expanses of side glass rare.
Buyers seem to agree, with a sunroof or sunroof becoming a common feature on most modern vehicles. These terms are often used interchangeably, but technically there are differences between sunroof and sunroof. What are these differences and which option is best for you? We have the answers.
Sunroof is probably the most common term for any glass panel that lets light through the roof. Yet the reality is that a sunroof doesn’t have to be glass at all. To be a sunroof, it can be a glass or metal panel that tilts, partially retracts, or fully opens. If it’s a large tinted glass panel that can fully retract into the roof, it’s actually a sunroof.
It used to be that sunroofs were little little glass slits in the roof that were installed by the aftermarket and had to be manually opened. Currently, not only is the glazed area of sunroofs larger than ever, but there are multiple ways to take advantage of it. Here is a brief overview of the different types of sunroofs:
Retractable sunroof: It is a manually operated panel that tilts up but does not retract. You support it manually and lock it in the tilt position. It’s like a ventilation window for your roof.
Sunroof spoiler: The spoiler is electronically controlled and partially slides rearward on a car‘s roof, rather than retracting into the crevice between the roof and the headliner. If you see a car with an open spoiler sunroof, you will see a window rising into the air above the roof of the car.
Sunroof top: This style of power sunroof is similar to the spoiler sunroof but opens fully. When opened, the roof panel slides over the roof of the car.
Integrated sunroof: this is the style most similar to a sunroof. The integrated sunroof is a glass sunroof where the panel can fully slide into the roof above the headliner. In older cars it can be slid back by a manual crank, but newer cars will be electrically operated.
While the sunroof is a piece of metal or glass that tilts, retracts, or both, the power sunroof is exclusively a tinted glass panel. It can be fixed or function as an integrated sunroof that fully retracts into the roof. The sunroof will have a sunshade which can be manually or electrically operated and can be closed to shut out the sun.
Automakers these days are more in love with the sunroof than the sunroof. Entry-level brands like Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, and Honda all offer sunroofs on many of their models. Luxury brands like Acura and Lexus also market power sunroofs. The sunroof is often found on higher trims, such as the Honda Civic, which adds the sunroof to the EX trim and above.
Panoramic roof systems
As sunroofs have overtaken sunroofs in popularity in today’s modern vehicles, the panoramic roof has evolved into a third type of roof system.
The panoramic roof features two large panes of glass that span the two rows of front seats together. The front panel acts as a top-mounted sunroof, with all the tilt and slide functions of this type of sunroof design. The rear panel is a panoramic sunroof. It is a large fixed piece of tinted glass from which the rear passengers can look out but cannot be opened. These types of roofs most often have a power sunshade. Since this roof system combines the attributes of a sunroof and a sunroof, it may be referred to as a panoramic sunroof or panoramic sunroof.
The popularity of crossovers and SUVs led to the emergence of panoramic roof systems, made possible by the longer roofs found on these bodies. Panoramic roof systems are usually found on higher trim levels of a vehicle, but can often be added to lower trims. Panoramic roofs are found on many vehicles, including the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, and Jeep Cherokee, to name a few.
Things to watch out for
If you are looking to buy a used car or SUV with any type of sunroof or sunroof, especially an older used car, be sure to look for any signs of leaks inside. . This is especially true with an aftermarket unit. It’s not common for a factory-installed sunroof or moonroof to leak, but one installed by a third party may not be as watertight.
When inspecting used vehicles with a sunroof at the dealership, simply take a look around the seals near the sunroof to make sure they are free of moisture and in good condition. Also try opening and closing the sunroof to make sure it works. Do it before or after the test drive, not during it, so you don’t get distracted.
Finally, don’t overlook the potential cost of repairs with any of these designs. Motors can fail, drains can clog, glass can get stuck in its tracks. All of these can be expensive to maintain and repair.
In the United States, sunroofs have largely fallen out of favor for sunroofs, but the darling of the current era is the larger panoramic roof. It’s easy to see why that’s the case: it’s the best of both worlds. It offers plenty of natural light, it can let in fresh air, and it pleases the rear passengers as well as those up front. If you’re buying a new vehicle that offers a panoramic roof, it’s worth considering, especially in an otherwise closed car like a coupe.
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This article, Sunroof Vs. Sunroof: What’s the Difference?originally appeared on iSeeCars.com